Parenting

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Adult Child Is Caught up in Opioid Epidemic

How should I talk to my grown son about his addiction to opioid drugs? It's obvious to all of us who care about him that he's developed a serious problem, but he's completely unwilling to admit it – either that, or he doesn't realize how far gone he really is. His substance abuse has impacted our entire family. Is there anything I can do?

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Helping Kids Avoid Opioid Addiction

How can I make sure my kids don't get caught up in the opioid epidemic? I've been reading about it, and I'm worried. These particular drugs – especially the prescription varieties – seem to be widely available and easily accessible, even on public school campuses. What I really need to know is why teens and preteens start (and continue) using drugs. And what steps can I take to protect my children against the dangers of substance abuse?

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Father-to-Be Anxious About Cost and Responsibility

How do we prepare for and manage the expenses that come with having a baby? My wife and I were ecstatic when we discovered we were pregnant, but now reality has set in. I’m feeling very anxious about the challenge of supporting and caring for a child. Can you help?

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Reaching Out to a Family Whose Child Has FASD

What are some meaningful ways our church can help and support a family of a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)? This young family attends our church regularly but struggles to connect with most of the people in our congregation. I'm ashamed to say that we're largely to blame for their feelings because we've had some difficulty dealing with the child's behavior. We regret this and want to reach out to them, but we're not sure how to get started.

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Expectant Mother Anxious About Alcohol Consumption

I'm six months into my pregnancy. For the first few months I avoided alcohol. But about three months ago my friends convinced me that a drink now and then wouldn't create any troubles with my unborn baby's health, and I started having a glass of wine once or twice a week. Now I'm worried that my baby may develop problems because of my decision to drink. What can I do?

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Sleep Deprivation With a New Baby

How can I deal with the effects of sleep deprivation that come with a newborn? Our little girl has been home for two weeks, and already my job performance is suffering. My wife and I take turns getting up with her in the night, but unlike my wife, I can't go back to sleep again once I'm up – not until about 10:30 the next morning when I'm sitting at my desk. What can I do?

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Financial Assistance for Older Grown Children

Should we provide financial assistance to our middle-aged adult children? Our son-in-law just lost his job. He's always made a good living but has struggled with serious health issues that have placed a burden on their finances. Our daughter has never once offered to help with their income by seeking work of any kind. I'm sorry to say that she's been unkind, self-centered, and lazy throughout their marriage. We don't feel much sympathy for her, but in view of everything our son-in-law has been through, we do feel compelled to keep them afloat while he looks for employment. We've done this for them on several other occasions when he's been between jobs. Do you think we're doing the right thing?

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Differentiating Between Childish Curiosity and Inappropriate Sexual Interest

As a parent, how can I tell when a child's normal curiosity about sex has crossed over into something inappropriate or unhealthy? My kids are at the age where they're starting to ask questions. That's fine in and of itself, but they've also been showing other signs of interest. For example, I walked in on them “playing doctor” the other day, and it was a pretty awkward experience for all of us.

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Identifying Neurochemical Factors in the Adopted Child's Behavior

How can I tell to what extent my adopted child's erratic behavior and moods might be based on neurochemical issues? I'm not sure about the details of his background before we adopted him, but I have a hunch there was some kind of neglect or abuse. It's been more challenging to raise him than we first anticipated. It would be helpful to have a clearer idea of what we're up against. What's the best way to assess his situation? And is there anything I can do to address the problem?

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Brain Chemistry and Children Who've Been Adopted

Is it possible that mental problems might be behind the erratic behavior of our 6-year-old son who we adopted who we adopted through the foster care system? His behavior is maddeningly unpredictable. He alternates between tantrums, running away, hiding, aggression, and wild hyperactivity. To top things off, he seems to regard us with feelings of distrust and won't let us get close enough to him to help in any way. I'm beginning to think that all of this might actually be based on some kind of issue with the hardwiring of his brain that won't allow him to understand or accept our love. Does this sound feasible?

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Adoption: Treating Sensory Processing Disorder

What kind of treatments or therapies are available to kids who suffer from Sensory Processing Disorder? We're fostering a boy from an abusive, high-risk background. After several consultations with an occupational therapist we've come to the conclusion that many of his most aggravating behavioral problems can be traced to sensory-based issues.

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Adoption: Identifying the Signs of Sensory Processing Disorder

How can I know if my child has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)? I'm an adoptive parent of a high-risk child. After studying some material gathered from your website and a number of other sources, I'm beginning to think that certain aspects of her behavior might be explained by this condition. In particular, it seems probable that some of her otherwise unexplainable outbursts and meltdowns might be triggered by sensory overload. How can I know for sure?

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Adoption and Sensory Processing Disorder

Can you help us understand why our 5-year-old son, who was adopted out of a background of trauma and abuse, sometimes goes "out of control" for no apparent reason? Though we've done everything in our power to make him feel loved and secure, he has developed a number of serious behavioral problems. We've begun treating him for ADHD, but so far it doesn't seem to have helped. Can you suggest anything?

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Dealing With Attachment Disorder in Adoption

How can I bond more effectively with my "disconnected" child who is newly adopted? We recently finalized adoption proceedings, and while we're pleased and excited to have our daughter in our home, we can also see that she's struggling with attachment issues. We don't know all the details of her past history, but some of her behavior indicates that she may have been abused. What can we do to reverse the damage and begin moving in a positive direction?

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Adoption and Attachment Issues

Can you give me some basic information on parent-child attachment, especially as it relates to adoption? How does it develop and why is it so important? We're planning to adopt a 4-year-old child from an orphanage in Eastern Europe. Our sense of excitement is growing as the time draws near to bring our newest family member home, but my spouse and I are also apprehensive about some of the challenges we may face. I've been especially anxious about some of the things I've read concerning Reactive Attachment Disorder.

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Encouraging Healthy Habits at Home

How can I help my family develop a healthier lifestyle? We have young children, and I'd like to do everything I can during these early years to encourage everyone in the house – mom, dad, and kids – to develop habits that will give us many long, healthy, happy days together. Can you provide me with any helpful tips?

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Discerning Video Game Addiction in Kids

How can I tell whether or not my child is actually addicted to video and computer games? He spends a lot of time gaming, but it's hard to know whether it's really that serious of a problem. Should I be concerned?

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Media Guidelines in the Home

How can our family establish some workable media standards? I understand the need for thoughtful discernment in this area as opposed to mindless rules, but sometimes I feel the need for more solid guidelines in order to gauge the merits of movies and music and to weigh specific decisions about appropriate family entertainment. Can you suggest anything?

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Parents Can't Control Teen's Use of Marijuana

As parents, how should we respond to a teenager who argues that the recreational use of pot is socially acceptable, that the authorities aren't concerned about it anymore, and that it's on the verge of being legalized. We know he's been using marijuana, but when we confronted him about it he flatly refused to stop. We're not sure what to do next. Can you help?

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Dealing With a Teen Who Struggles With Drug Addiction

Where can we turn for help with the challenge of confronting our adolescent son's problem with substance abuse? It might even be fair to say his abuse has escalated into a full-blown addiction. We're devastated and don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

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Parenting a Teen Who Struggles With Alcoholism

Where can we turn for advice and assistance in dealing with our adolescent son's drinking problem? Recently things have escalated to the point where I think it would fair to call him a full-blown alcoholic. His behavior is impacting everyone in the family and tearing our household apart. Can you help?

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When Your Grown Child Moves Back Home

How can we make our grown child's move back home a smooth and easy transition? Just as we were looking forward to the freedom of an "empty nest," our daughter decided that she needs to come back and "get her life together" before "moving on to the next step." The problem is that we don't know exactly what this means, and as a result we have no idea how long she's planning to stay. Do you have any advice for us?

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How to Avoid Spoiling Your Child

How can my husband and I make sure that we don't overindulge our cute little girl? She has a wonderful sweet personality and everyone in the family has been doting on her since she was born. But now that she's four years old, I'm wondering if she'll ever grow out of this "cute baby" phase. She loves being the center of attention and will "perform" on cue if given the opportunity. Is this normal, healthy behavior? Should we be concerned? What, if anything, should we be doing differently?

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Problems with Family Devotions

Do you have any suggestions for more effective ways to worship and study the Bible together as a family? We've tried hard to have regular devotions at our house, but it's been difficult and discouraging because our children seem so bored and uninvolved. Can you help us?

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